Last Updated: 28/08/19 11:10pm
The Ligue 1 game at Nice was halted due to homophobic banners
The French league game between Nice and Marseille was halted for several minutes during the first half on Wednesday after fans unfurled banners with homophobic messages.
One banner at the Allianz Riviera stadium criticised Ligue 1 authorities for approving more fenced off sections in the stands, saying it makes for “more gay” stadiums.
Another banner referred to Tuesday’s takeover of Nice by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man who is the owner of chemical giant Ineos and the Team Ineos cycling team.
Referee Clement Turpin interrupted the game midway through the first half
There was also sporadic chanting by some fans against the French league with anti-gay slurs, and referee Clement Turpin interrupted the game midway through the first half, with play resuming when players returned 10 minutes later.
Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira was in charge of Nice, while Marseille are managed by former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas.
A second-half Dimitri Payet penalty gave Marseille a 2-1 win, their first of the season and first under new coach Villas-Boas.
Dario Benedetto opened the scoring in the 31st minute, his first goal since joining from Boca Juniors and his team’s first of the season, before Wylan Cyprien levelled with a 66th-minute penalty.
Earlier this month, referee Mehdi Mokhtari stopped a second-division match between Nancy and Le Mans for about a minute after an initial appeal made over the speakers to stop homophobic chanting failed to have an effect.
The French league told referees before the start of the season to stop games in such cases and has considered also introducing a list of banned words inside stadiums.